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Birth Culture

Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2014 - 21 comments

Dance of life and death

On Sunday, July 13th 2014, Africa's Nobel Laureates in Literature balanced the eternal dance of life and death. On that day, Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka celebrated his 80th birthday with Presidents and paeans, even as South African author Nadine Gordimer passed away that night at age 90. Each, in their own way with words, took on the challenge of race and colour.
posted by infini on Jul 14, 2014 - 14 comments

How lucky are we

Sorry You Were Tricked Into a C-Section What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 9, 2014 - 134 comments

Having babies...with science

Evidence Based Birth is a blog with articles by Rebecca Dekker, a PhD nurse and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, summarizing the best medical evidence for childbirth practices. To start, check out the table summarizing the state of US maternity care to see the differences between current standard childbirth practices and evidence based care. The topics page lists the currently available articles. [more inside]
posted by medusa on Jul 3, 2014 - 40 comments

"It was just too dark in your tummy"

This Little Girl Is Watching Her Own Birth For The Very First Time [totally SFW] A young girl watches a video of herself being born. Her face is amazingly expressive!
posted by QuakerMel on May 14, 2014 - 34 comments

Bounty Mutiny

"If an NHS trust proposed today that it was going to introduce Viagra sales reps into men's genitourinary wards, or reps for walking aids to orthopaedic wards, the very least you'd expect would be some stout resistance. It is a measure of the strength of the association between "motherhood" and "buying stuff" that the presence of commercial representatives on maternity wards has been tolerated for so long."
[more inside]
posted by Catseye on Apr 23, 2014 - 29 comments

Is Home Birth In the US Safe?

Statistics professor challenges midwives' math on home birth safety. This article includes links to multiple original sources so be sure to read (or scroll) to the end.
posted by the young rope-rider on Feb 27, 2014 - 277 comments

Is the Contraceptive NuvaRing Killing Thousands?

"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings on Dec 28, 2013 - 103 comments

Revolutionary new birthing device based on party trick

The Odon childbirthing device Argentinian car mechanic Jorge Odon saw this party trick. It occurred to him it could help with difficult births. It seems he may be right.
posted by holist on Dec 5, 2013 - 49 comments

The girls who went away, and the house they left behind

Before the days of Roe v. Wade (and sometimes after) girls who got pregnant were sent away. Now one of the places that housed them is closing. [more inside]
posted by newrambler on Nov 12, 2013 - 18 comments

Parenthood Optional

With the price of raising a child rapidly rising, many people are choosing to go child free. This choice is seen by some as sensible and as selfish by others.
posted by reenum on Sep 2, 2013 - 283 comments

Only in America

American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World (SLNYT)
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jul 1, 2013 - 104 comments

Animals Instincts: birthing and nurturing.

Videos of a chimp, elephant, and leopard giving birth or taking care of young, relying on instinct and what looks like pure love. [more inside]
posted by whalebreath on Jun 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Symphysiotomy

“So when I was pregnant and about to give birth, I was expecting kindness, understanding, love. But, by god, was I wrong. They were torturers. They didn’t care. I was a thing. An experiment.” [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Jan 3, 2013 - 56 comments

"The statistics don't matter, until they happen to you."

"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2012 - 70 comments

Thankfully, No Names

Simulating US Births/Deaths in Real-Time - a D3 Visualization
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 6, 2012 - 26 comments

Melinda Gates and investing in women's health

“When I started to realize that that needed to get done in family planning, I finally said, OK, I’m the person that’s going to do that,”
posted by dfm500 on Sep 6, 2012 - 76 comments

Stan Brakhage on birth and death

Stan Brakhage on birth and death*. [graphic childbirth and autopsy footage] (* previously - dead links) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 16, 2012 - 9 comments

Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?

"Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?" Kearney MS & Levine PB (2012) Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(2): 141–63. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Jul 23, 2012 - 122 comments

Are Birth Control Pills Changing the Mating Game?

Two researchers have reviewed the body of research on the effects of birth control pills on both women and men’s perceptions of attractiveness, and have come to some provocative conclusions. “If you don’t take into account society maybe we’re all animals, but in social situations I don’t think there are many women who change who they would mate with at different times of the month. It might change desires or perceptions but, gee whiz, that’s a long stretch to changing who you would date, or even who you would go to dinner with”
posted by goalyeehah on Mar 30, 2012 - 62 comments

"That roars so loud and thunders in the index."

Birth of a Book [Vimeo] A short vignette of a book being created using traditional printing methods. For the Daily Telegraph. Shot at Smith-Settle Printers, Leeds, England. The book being printed is Suzanne St Albans’ 'Mango and Mimosa' published as part of the Slightly Foxed series. Shot, Directed & Edited by @Glen Milner
posted by Fizz on Mar 30, 2012 - 4 comments

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow

Three basketball coaches share the experience of a single type of tragedy.
posted by reenum on Jan 5, 2012 - 6 comments

this is not a double post

How can we better understand the interplay of nature and nurture in determining our personalities, behavior, and vulnerability to disease? Perhaps we should be looking at identical twins. (National Geographic January 2012 cover story) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 19, 2011 - 89 comments

These images you have been exposed to involved women screaming and hating their husbands

YOU are Invited to Watch My Natural Home Birth Live Online... Chiropractor and Natural Birth Coach Nancy Salgueiro announces plans to stream her homebirth live. Some videos of unassisted birth. Controversial anti-home birth blogger The Skeptical OB weighs in: "nothing says love, support and respect like an audience of strangers watching your crotch."
posted by the young rope-rider on Sep 22, 2011 - 160 comments

Birth and Pooping

"I have been inspired to write a post about, what seems to be, the number one thing on every pregnant woman’s mind…POOP!". On Jezebel: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Pooping During Childbirth. The Poop Report (Your #1 Source for #2, previously) weighs in.
posted by Deathalicious on Aug 24, 2011 - 106 comments

Let The Koi Guide Him

Koi Assisted Birth
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Jun 28, 2011 - 56 comments

Teeny tiny womb

A rare black lion tamarin at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust gave birth by c-section last month (via). The c-section was necessary because, though tamarins usually give birth to twins, this mother had only a single baby that was too big to deliver naturally (adult tamarins weigh about 600 grams). [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on May 23, 2011 - 6 comments

Progesterone Gel Helps Prevent Preemies

One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2011 - 18 comments

Happy 65th birthday to the MRC birth cohort of 1946

Epidemiology: Study of a lifetime. "In 1946, scientists started tracking thousands of British children born during one cold March week. On their 65th birthday, the study members find themselves more scientifically valuable than ever before." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2011 - 7 comments

Premature birth-preventing drug faces cost spike

Progesterone caproate injections have been used to reduce the likelihood of premature births in at-risk pregnant women for years. Up until now, the drug was custom-compounded by wholesale and specialist pharmacies, legally, but without federal approval. These injections cost between $5 and $15 a dose and were regularly reimbursed by insurance companies and Medicaid. Last month, the FDA announced their approval of a commercially produced version of the compound, to be marketed under the brand name Makena by a company called KV Pharmaceuticals. No stranger to controversy and trouble, KV barely survived a rash round of layoffs and wrongful termination lawsuits. Their former chief executive now faces criminal charges surrounding the company's failure to notify the FDA that they were producing oversized morphine tablets. (He could also do for a shave, it appears.) Now, KV has announced that the new drug will be available at a cost of $1,500 per dose, bringing the total pregnancy term cost of treatment to $25,000-$30,000, from its former cost of $250-$300, a 100-fold increase—but it gets worse... [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on Mar 9, 2011 - 63 comments

The Miracle of Bigfoot Birth

Sasquatch Birth Journal 2, "an unprecedented peek at the mysteries of nature." Perhaps NSFW.
posted by theperfectcrime on Jan 29, 2011 - 20 comments

Withdrawal Method Finds Ally

“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year" Which birth-control method is more effective: condoms or withdrawal?
posted by badego on Sep 2, 2010 - 103 comments

I was born, for starters ...

What Happened in My Birth Year? If you have the patience for the slow onscreen text printout, you might find some interesting tidbits. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Aug 22, 2010 - 43 comments

MOMS for the 21st Century

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (MOMS) for the 21st Century Act on July 21st. This legislation proposed by Congresswoman Roybal-Allard of California is aimed at improving maternal and infant outcomes in the US. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Jul 31, 2010 - 59 comments

Mystery Man

Kid who doesn't exist looks to future No birth certificate. No Social Security number. No official identity.
posted by fixedgear on Apr 27, 2010 - 58 comments

This is Nella's Story

Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story (warning: sound)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Mar 10, 2010 - 27 comments

The Birth Survey

The Birth Survey is a comprehensive survey of women who have given birth within the last three years. The first of its kind, it allows women to answer questions regarding their experiences with every aspect of their maternity care from the prenatal care to the birth to perinatal and post-partum care. Examples of questions include how long of wait there was between arranging the first prenatal appointment and having it, how long of wait there was for prenatal appointments after arriving at the office, what equipment was available during labor (birth ball, birthing stool, shower, tub, etc.), and if discussions regarding post-partum mood disorders took place during post-partum care. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Feb 15, 2010 - 53 comments

Do babies born in January prefer tafeta?

Does getting lucky at the prom equate to more Winter Babies? What does that mean economically?
posted by Ruthless Bunny on Sep 23, 2009 - 36 comments

Let's Panic About Babies!

Let's Panic About Babies! "Fortunately for everyone in the whole wide world, Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy have created the only website that accurately explains the journey from morning sickness to third-degree tears to keeping that baby alive for a year–or more! LET’S PANIC ABOUT BABIES will serve as a salve to the mystery and degradation of this most female of challenges. Its authors may not have 'science' on their side, but what they do have is far more valuable: a heady mélange of female intuition, sentence-forming know-how, and the achingly vivid memories of their own gestational journeys and unending motherhoods. So join Alice and Eden as they tell you exactly what to think and feel and do on every one of your 2,681 days* of pregnancy. They know everything! * 'Science' would tell you that human gestation is actually, on average, 266 days. This is one of many ways in which science is terribly wrong." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 19, 2009 - 63 comments

Take that, realism!

Is Barack Obama An American Citizen? "...because Obama’s claim to American citizenship is only supported by evidence and logic, he must not be an American citizen."
posted by anotherpanacea on Jul 29, 2009 - 243 comments

Betcha can eat just one!

Afterbirth for Dinner (Time Magazine, NSFW or appetite) [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Jul 2, 2009 - 83 comments

they come out the butt, stupid!

Kinda sutra - a charmingly animated short in which people talk about childhood misconceptions about sex and childbirth. More on childhood sex misconceptions from Dan Savage 1, 2, 3. (pretty tame clip, but possibly NSFW) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 13, 2009 - 55 comments

Good luck not dancing

At Sammy's at 2016 Main, on September 8, a historic jam session occurred, an impromptu reunion of many of the city of New Orleans's finest musicians. Each player who walked in the door was much more than a mere musician that night -- they were an affirmation of life. Not only did their attendance indicate that they had survived the storm, but their collective presence also indicated that their music would survive, too.
The New Birth Brass Band (and friends) tears it the hell up in downtown Houston post-Katrina. The whole show is great, but if you're short on time, parts one and three are especially smoking.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Dec 14, 2008 - 3 comments

999 Call Transcripts

JS (Aged 5) She can't wake up.
Operator No? Is she breathing? Can you see her chest go up and down?
JS I can see her shoulders going ... I can see her doing [Makes breathing noises]
Operator She's breathing, is she? But you think she's having a fit.
JS Yeah, I think she is and ... I don't know what to do.

6 transcripts of 999 operators helping people cope with emergencies: a mother giving birth alone, a 5 year old whose mother is fitting, a mother and son trapped in a house fire, a brother and sister resuscitating their father, a husband saving his choking wife, and a neighbour saving his friend with an amputated arm
posted by roofus on Nov 29, 2008 - 43 comments

More shark, less snark

Shark Virgin Birth! Praise Jawsus! (punchline stolen from Halcyon) Meanwhile, in Dubai, they're so rich they can focus their attention on Sammy the Shark, and a museum in Hawaii is trying to dispel fears raised by recent shark sightings with an exhibition titled "Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived". And if you always wanted a shark of your own, contact Big Al. Just remember the words of Alby Singer.
posted by wendell on Oct 10, 2008 - 12 comments

Your unborn child as produce

Your unborn child as produce - You'll never look at chard the same way again.
posted by Ogre Lawless on Aug 20, 2008 - 49 comments

Harvey Dent, eat your heart out.

"Baby Lali with two faces, two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes was born on March 11 in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday."
posted by auralcoral on Apr 18, 2008 - 52 comments

Heavy on trivia, slowly presented.

Did You Know 2.0 (Youtube 08:19) Facts about education, population, globalization.
posted by blue_beetle on Feb 13, 2008 - 6 comments

Amazing Birth

Amazing Birth (NSFW). One link youtube post, requires login for age verification, but it's worth it.
posted by alms on Jan 20, 2008 - 136 comments

Lifelike robot helps train doctors in delivering babies

Noelle can't stop giving birth.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 3, 2008 - 34 comments

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